Haig tells Argentina, “We will defend the Falklands”

29 Mar

In a speech last night before 100 ambassadors in the City of London, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, spoke about renewing his country’s ties with the South American states, and Britain’s determination to protect the rights of the Falkland Islanders.

“We are reversing Britain’s decline in Latin America, where we are opening a new Embassy in El Salvador. This determination to deepen our relations with Latin America is coupled with our steadfast commitment to the right of self-determination of the people of the Falkland Islands.”

The dinner held at the Mansion House, is an annual gathering of all diplomats in London, but the first time that an Argentine Ambassador has been present for some years. The keynote speech by the Foreign Secretary is typically reported back to the Ambassador’s home countries. Alicia Castro, the recently arrived Argentine Ambassador, was expected to attend.

Speaking of the 30th anniversary of the 1982 Falklands War, Mr. Hague said; “(The events) are not so much celebrations as commemorations. I think Argentina will also be holding commemorations of those who died in the conflict. Since both countries will be doing that I don’t think there is anything provocative about that.”

Argentina asserts that a British force ejected its settlers in 1833 and bases its claim on that incident, ignoring the warning issued by the then British Government in 1829 that the archipelago was British and had been since 1765. The settlers on the Falklands in 1833 were a mixture of nationalities led by a German, Luis Vernet.

Vernet had received British consent to be there in 1828.



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